Michael Chapman

Active - 1973 - 2018  |   Born - Nov 21, 1935   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After an apprenticeship as a documentary cameraman, Manhattan-born cinematographer Michael Chapman became another of the many talented lensmen given a professional leg-up by legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis. Chapman was a camera operator on such well-regarded 1970s films as The Godfather (1972) and Jaws (1975); in 1973, he finally attained director of photography status on The Last Detail. Some of his best work in the '80s was in old-fashioned but highly stylish black-and-white: Raging Bull (1980) and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). In 1983, Chapman gave directing a try with the laudable All the Right Moves; his next and (thus far) last directorial gig was the beautifully lensed but dramatically threadbare Clan of the Cave Bear (1986). Chapman subsequently returned almost solely to cinematography, lensing a number of popular Hollywood films that included Kindergarten Cop (1990) and Andrew Davis' successful The Fugitive (1993).

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